How to Become a Dental Assistant in Douglas Georgia
Choosing the ideal dental assistant program near Douglas GA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other significant factors to take into account as well, including the college’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the 2 credentials you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program generally takes about 12 months to complete for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the more extensive training comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Job of a Dental Assistant in Douglas GA
Dental assistants are an important component of any Douglas GA dental office and can perform a multitude of tasks. Their fundamental job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. A number of dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. However the majority of assistants perform any duty that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Setting and verifying appointments
- Readying patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants differ by state, so consult with the Georgia dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or choose to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Programs near Douglas GA
Dental assistant courses are available at Georgia junior colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most typical credential earned is the certificate, which ordinarily takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more expansive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in Georgia vocational schools and community colleges. Whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical component to the training also. Many programs also offer internships with Douglas GA dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental assistant course may be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Douglas GA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the right choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Assistant Programs
Once you have picked the dental specialty and kind of credential you want to attain, you can start the procedure of comparing Georgia schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for some online alternatives also. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Douglas GA area colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Douglas GA frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited Georgia schools.
Is The Correct Dental Program Offered? You can elect to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make sure that the Douglas GA school you choose has the program that’s right for you. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an excellent reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are just interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the ideal college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of dental colleges have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Douglas GA area program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Douglas GA dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant schools need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Douglas GA dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the Douglas GA area programs you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental assistant training can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Douglas GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to make sure that the assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to go to classes near your Douglas GA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Douglas GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Douglas Georgia that you may find helpful.
Douglas is a city in Coffee County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 11,589. Douglas is the county seat of Coffee County and the core city of the Douglas, Georgia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 50,731 as of the 2010 census.
Douglas was founded in 1855 as the seat of the newly formed Coffee County. It was named for Senator Stephen A. Douglas from Illinois, a renowned stump speaker who was the challenger to Abraham Lincoln in the presidential election of 1860.
Douglas was chartered as a town in 1895 and as a city in 1897. In 1895, the railroad came to Douglas and the community began to boom. In 1909, the Georgia and Florida Railway located its offices in Douglas.
Select the Ideal Dental Assistant Program near Douglas GA
Choosing the right dental assistant program is crucial if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants normally require about 1 year of study before they enter the job market. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Douglas GA.
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